Updated: Aug 25
For people looking into a career in histology, selecting a program can be daunting. Histology schools are few and far between, despite the growing demand for histotechs, so its likely you won’t find one in your area. There are however, a number of NAACLS accredited online programs that can serve as a worthy alternative, when you don’t live in a region with a histology school.
Indiana University School of Medicine offers a 12-month Associate’s Degree and a 10-month Certificate in Histotechnology, with all courses available online. Students will be required to complete a clinical rotation at their local laboratory training site. IU will work with the student to find a site. Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for the HT or HTL certification exam based on their degree. They are a Florida Board of Health Approved training program. IU offers a flat tuition rate, which is the same for in-state and out-of-state students, at around $8,700 for the program (may be more if you need to take prerequisites).
University of North Dakota
University of North Dakota offers a 9-month certificate program that will enable graduates to sit for the HT exam. They offer start dates in January, May, and August at the cost of approximately $7,500 tuition. The program’s courses are online, and you can complete your clinical site training at a laboratory in your area.
Harcum College, out of Pennsylvania, offers a Histotechnician program in which all of the required HT lecture courses are online. The majority of their required general education courses are also offered online. There are a few that are not, but you can transfer them in from another college/university. They have several clinical sites in PA that they partner with, but they will work with you if you are out of state to find somewhere to complete the hands-on portion of your training. Tuition is $13,000/semester or $810 per credit if you are part time. The HT program requires 69 credits for the degree. Click here for more information on courses per semester.
Harford Community College
Harford Community College, out of Maryland, is a 10 month, online, NAACLS accredited histology certificate program. You do have to be currently employed by a laboratory however, and have an Associate’s Degree, in order to apply to this program. You complete the clinical assignments and practicums at the laboratory where you are employed. The cost of the program is $4,945, not including textbooks.
SUNY Broome Community College
SUNY Broome Community College in NY is an online, one year, histology certificate program, however they are not NAACLS accredited, which means you would not qualify to sit for the HT certification exam through route 1 (completion of a histology program). You would need to qualify through route 2 (a year of lab experience. Learn more about certification routes here. You are, however, eligible for NY state licensure immediately upon completion of the program. Like other online programs, SUNY students complete preclinical competencies and clinical training at area hospital laboratories. Tuition varies for NY state/out of state residents, and part time/full-time students.
If you don’t need a completely online program you can check out other programs such as Goodwin College in CT, which offers online courses but with in-person lab courses added, in addition to the clinical experience that other programs require. Similarly, Florida State College at Jacksonville in Florida, has online courses, plus face-to-face lab sessions, with clinical practicums at affiliated facilities.
Visit NSH’s list of histology schools for more programs that offer in person, or blended learning.